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  #1  
Old 10-21-2009, 08:40 PM
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Sabots in traditional flintlock


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I would like to know if it is a) safe and b) practical to shoot sabot bullets in a traditional muzzleloading flintlock rifle. I realize that the piece was intended for patched round .50 cal balls and I have only been using ball projectiles in the past. Would appreciate your collective experience and advice on this subject.

Thanks....Brad
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2009, 12:21 AM
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Should be no problem if the weight of the bullet used is no greater than other projectile weights suitable for your gun. Soft sabots are pretty slippery, and may actually give you lower pressure than the patched ball. You'll be able to tell by how hard you have to push the ramrod to seat it? It if is easier to push than the patched ball, then it will offer less firing resistance. Sabots are usually made of plastics like polyethylene, which is the plastic equivalent of a hard fat. They're not all alike though, so load low the first time and see how the thing feels?
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2009, 06:38 AM
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Thanks Nick: Follow-up question. How would you expect the point of impact to change, if at all, assuming a simillar weight/simillar powder charge for a sabot bullet versus a traditional 50 cal patched ball?
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  #4  
Old 10-22-2009, 07:33 AM
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This never crossed my mind before but what if you used a saboted round ball? What I mean is a smaller diameter roundball inside the sabot with a reduced charge. I suppose it might tend to slip out of it's sleeve but if you had, say a 1:48 twist in your rifle instead of the 1:60 twist, which is best for a .50 caliber roundball rifle - it might be better with a smaller ball. It may be dangerous so I would not try it. I am curious but curiosity killed the cat. i'm just posing a hypothetical question here so don't try it please. It most likely is a very stupid idea. I just want to know how stupid it really is. I am assuming that The sabot isn't designed for a round ball, and can separate from the powder charge to create a dangerous air gap in the barrel.

Last edited by @bullseye; 10-22-2009 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:48 AM
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Hornady has a .440 ball in a sabot you can shoot. They do well.

Depending on the twist of your rifle, say 1-48 they will shoot sabots very well some times. The thing I find is not to get the sabot too long because the moderate twist in the barrel can not get it stabilized as well as say a 1-28 twist. If you want to try some, stick to 240 and 250 grain Hornady XTPs in a .452 diameter and see how they shoot. With a moderate powder charge, they can surprise you how accurate they are. And deadly too.
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2009, 03:13 PM
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I was looking at the Hornady .485 hardball system. That's interesting. The next question was going to ask was - what about a hardball in a sabot and a heavier charge since the plastic engages the rifling? No need to ask. The .485 dia. ball is not that much smaller though. I'd never heard of that before.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2009, 05:44 PM
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Cayugad...thank you for the sufggestion regarding Hornaday XTP. I will give it a try. I usually use 85 grains of FF for the round ball. By moderate load would you suggest less 10% for a starter laod with the XTP?

Brad
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2009, 06:49 PM
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Be sensible in your loading, and you should be safe. Will it shoot worth a darn? Heck, who knows? I wouldn't expect it to do well, but I will say that I have been plenty wrong before. My favorite .45 frontstuffer is a late-'60s-era Sears Roebuck caplock "Kentucky rifle". I bought it well-used for $35. I considereed it ugly as sin, so I modified it to suit my tastes and refinished all the wood and metal. The twist is 1:66, a definite roundball bore. But I found that a 240 gr. Maxi Ball driven by 60 gr. FFG will stay on a playing card shot after shot at 100 yards, and will drill a .45 hole through the biggest buck at that range from any angle. Shouldn't work, but you just never know.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2009, 11:24 AM
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I shot Knight Red Hot 300gr sabot loads through my .50 cal rocklock, because they were they only .50 cal slugs I had on hand - and they did very well.

I found them to be accurate in the RB gun, using Goex FFFg in both the main charge and as the pan charge.

The only thing that might be problematic would be scouring out any melted plastic from the sabots after extended use - generally not a problem with the removeable breechplug inline rifles the saboted slugs were designed around.

.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2009, 05:40 PM
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Tried some sabots in a TC caplock because it had a rough barrel. Accuracy was very good but I just think it's odd using sabots in a rifle designed for patched ball or lead slugs. Having said that, using a patched (paper) bullet in a muzzleloader has been done for a couple hundred years, they just didn't use plastic. If anyone has a barrel they think has been rusted out (common problem) I'd suggest they try sabots.
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2009, 10:13 AM
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I shoot a .452 240 XTP with 80 grains of Pyrodex RS out of my Traditions Woodsman Hawkins and it does a real good job. I have only shot it out to 50 yards since that is a long shot in my neck of the woods, but I sure would hunt with that. When you work up the load start low and then as the group tightens and then goes the other way, you can find the sweet load. Good luck.

I have a friend that hog hunted with a flintlock loaded with that 240 XTP. Having not hog hunted I thought me might be taking a chance, but he said it dropped a 180+ hog in its tracks with the one shot at 35 yards.
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  #12  
Old 10-28-2009, 06:43 PM
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to each his own

I bet Davey Crockett would if he had them!!!
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